The Aboriginal art industry in Australia has seen a dramatic rise in popularity during recent times. With the value of the paintings increasing, corruption and fraud are also increasing.
It has prompted the Australian government to spend an extra $2.2 million to fund the education of artists and their rights, while also educating buyers of Aboriginal art.
As much as I like some Australian aborginal art, I would be hesitant in spending much more than a few hundred dollars on a painting as you just don’t know what you are getting. The same could be said about buying any contemporary art, but the stories that get around about aboriginal art makes it all a bit riskier (just my opinion).
Australia aims to protect a $149 million art industry
“Stories have circulated about fraud and exploitation of artists for almost as long as there was a buck to be made in aboriginal art. The issue has come to the fore again this year with reports from the town of Alice Springs of artists being physically coerced into producing art and working in sweatshop conditions. Investigations have revealed little. It is alleged that artists are intimidated or bought off by cash, drugs, or alcohol. Meanwhile, some well-known artists have been accused of passing off work by relatives as their own.” CS Monitor